Section: New Results

Algorithms: Content-Centric Networking

Participants : Mathieu Feuillet, Christine Fricker, Philippe Robert, James Roberts, Nada Sbihi.

RAP is participating in an ANR project named CONNECT which will contribute to the definition and evaluation of a new paradigm for the future Internet: a content-centric network (CCN) where, rather than interconnecting remote hosts like IP, the network directly manages the information objects that users publish, retrieve and exchange. CCN has been proposed by Van Jacobson and colleagues at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). In CCN, content is divided into packet-size chunks identified by a unique name with a particular hierarchical structure. The name and content can be cryptographically encoded and signed, providing a range of security levels. Packets in CCN carry names rather than addresses and this has a fundamental impact on the way the network works. Security concerns are addressed at the content level, relaxing requirements on hosts and the network. Users no longer need a universally known address, greatly facilitating management of mobility and intermittent connectivity. Content is supplied under receiver control, limiting scope for denial of service attacks and similar abuse. Since chunks are self-certifying, they can be freely replicated, facilitating caching and bringing significant bandwidth economies. CCN applies to both stored content and to content that is dynamically generated, as in a telephone conversation, for example. RAP is contributing to the design of CCN in two main areas:

  • the design and evaluation of traffic controls recognizing that TCP is no longer applicable and queue management will require new, name-based criteria to ensure fairness and to realize service differentiation;

  • the design and evaluation of replication and caching strategies that realize an optimal trade-off of expensive bandwidth for cheap memory.

The team will also contribute to the development of efficient forwarding strategies and investigate economic arguments that make CCN a viable replacement for IP.

The ANR project began in January 2011 and several task meetings have taken place. We have also held meetings with PARC establishing close cooperation with them and with some participants in the NSF project "Named Data Networking". We also participated in the CCN Community meeting in Palo Alto where we presented our work on traffic control. A paper describing the proposed flow-aware approach and results of a performance evaluation has been accepted for the conference Infocom 2012 [15] .

Work on the performance of caching in CCN is ongoing. We have investigated popularity distributions for various types of content and evaluated their impact on the memory bandwidth tradeoff to be realized by CCN.